Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In A Little While...

Friends... I'm taking a little break today. I was putting together a giveaway post for today, but yesterday got a little out of hand. Halle and I ended up at the Dr's office and turns out our muchkin has a bit of an eye infection. Nothing serious, and our Dr said that it doesn't really give her any problems and should clear up in a week. However, I'm still feeling bad for our little girl. 

Afterwards, I made a run by our favourite butcher's to pick up dinner. B and I have been going there since it opened and have come to know the owner and his sister. I didn't see him when I arrived but his sister was in, and she was excited to see our little girl. However, I was taken aback when she told me that her brother was taken from us on July 8th - rather suddenly. I delivered the news to B right away and we were both feeling awful... needless to say, I wasn't in the mood to do much blogging - so my giveaway post will have to wait until next week.

I'll be back tomorrow with my post on my final chalkboard calendar. Enjoy your Wednesday... and this final day of August...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Checking In (On the To-Do List)

This year is flying by, and some of you may remember that B and I had a pretty ambitious to-do list for 2011. I checked in on our progress back in early April, but thought it was about time we took another look at what we've accomplished to date. So here is where we stand...

- Create a Nursery for our Little Girl - DONE!
     - If you missed this one, you can check out our nursery reveal right here

Create a Proper Master Bedroom - DONE!

     - Okay, well, the room itself is not 100% completed, but it's a much better master bedroom than it was before and we definitely accomplished a lot including adding some personal artwork and making our own headboard!


Add Half Glass Wall to Basement Shower - Not Started

Finish Trim in Basement Bathroom - Not Started

Finish Trim and Paint in Basement Living Area - Not Started

Create Storage for Basement Living Area - Not Started

 Get Basement Seating Bench Cushion Covered - In Progress

     - Well, I finally picked out the fabric and even brought the fabric and the cushion along to my parents... unfortunately it's not done yet! Eventually though...

Add Doors and Trim to my Craft Room / Office - In Progress

     - There may not be doors yet, but B started adding trim to the room when we were working on some laundry room projects not too long ago. Still a lot left to be done, but we're happy that progress is being made on this room once again!

Get Proper Storage and Organize my Craft Room / Office - In Progress

     - Back in the winter we picked up an IKEA dresser which has added a great deal of functional storage to my space. The desk that B built helps as well, but this is something that can still be improved upon. I guess it's kind of an ongoing thing...

Landscape Front and Backyard - In Progress

     - We were definitely far too ambitious to think that we would landscape both areas this year. The backyard pretty much needs a complete overhaul, but at least we got some great landscaping done out front this year!   

Complete Closet in Front Entrance - DONE!

     - This was happily one of the first things we crossed off of our to-do list for this year! You can check out the reveal of our front entrance interior right here

Better Utilize Storage and Shelving in Kitchen - In Progress

     - B started this when he added some shelving to our large kitchen pantry. It's definitely helped with storage, especially with the abundance of baby stuff we're not storing in the kitchen. I am however, unsure about how much better we can make it without renovating the entire kitchen... which is further down the line than we would like.

Finish Front Exterior Work
  - Complete Siding  - DONE!
  - Paint Front Door - DONE!
  - Paint Aluminum Siding - DONE!
  - Add Window Box and New House Number - Not Started
  - Get New Mailbox up - DONE!

... at least all of our hardwork paid off, as the front of our home is looking far more inviting these days...

Painted Door - July 2011

Renovate Second Floor Bathroom - Coming this Fall! (YAY!)
     - You can check out what I've shared about this project so far, right here.
Put Up Railing on Main Floor and Basement Stairs - Not Started

Finish Recovering my Garage Sale Chair  - Not Started

Get Our Personal Artwork Framed - DONE!

     - You can check out our artwork that we got framed right here
Wish List Items: A few things we'd like to see happen around here, but we didn't count on actually getting around to...

Build a new back deck - This has been moved to next spring / summer
Stucco the old brick on our home
Paint the Garage Doors - DONE! (Thanks to B and his Dad!... yeah I still need to get a picture of that)
Finish Painting our Kitchen Cabinets White - Not sure this is worth it anymore...

So not too bad really! Of the 17 items on our list, we've completed 5, started 5, have 1 coming along very soon, and 6 that still need to be addressed... and we do hope we can cross off our list at some point this year. I consider this to be very successful since I was pregnant January - July... and we still managed to complete some stuff after Halle arrived!

The best part about things not being crossed off of our list yet?... There's still a lot more to blog about! 

Do you have a to-do list that you've been trying to tackle this year? How successful have you been so far with your projects?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Carrying on Tradition

Since I shared my latest project post this morning, I had to take some time this afternoon to post a little about our weekend.

As I mentioned on Friday, we headed over to the CNE this weekend with Halle and this was a huge deal for me (and not just because baby girl turned 5 weeks that day!). You see, the CNE has always been a tradition in my family. Every August, for as long as I can remember, we packed into the car and headed down to the Exhibition grounds to finish off summer with a bang. As kids we enjoyed the rides, games and food... and as I got older the rides have become less exciting and now it's all about food and shopping. Regardless of what we're there for, we always have a great time, so it meant a lot to me to bring Halle for the first time, and my parents came along too...

CNE - August 27, 2011
B, Halle (in the stroller of course) and my Dad as we entered the Ex Grounds...

CNE - August 27, 2011
Halle spent a good portion of the day doing this... which made our trip so very easy! 

Considering B's corn dog. She wasn't interested... she'd just eaten...

Checking out what's good from her perch on Grandpa's shoulder

CNE - August 27, 2011CNE - August 27, 2011
Spent some time hanging out with Daddy while we "shopped" - she loved all of the lights and different colours...

CNE - August 27, 2011
As we left for another year, my Dad snapped a family photo of us (even though you can really only see Halle's hand in this photo... she was asleep and we didn't want to wake her up for the photo) in front of the Prince's Gates. We'll have to get another one next summer!

What fun things did you get up to this past weekend? Any traditions you have to end the summer?

Student Style and Function

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and that all of my readers who were affected by Irene are safe and sound. 

As I promised, I have a new project to share with you this morning. The other week I got an email from the Home Depot Team, asking if I would be interested in working on a creative project with them. Of course I would! What was even better was they were looking for me to work on a project that would add style and function to a student's space. Perfect, since I'll be back at my night classes on September 14th and we've been working on sprucing up my laundry room / office space in the basement recently.

I immediately started to brainstorm some ideas and thought that a chalkboard calendar over my desk would be a great way to keep track of my assignments and projects and manage my time better. After measuring the wall over my desk and determining that a 2' x 3' calendar would be the right size, I headed to Home Depot with my $50 gift card to buy the supplies - here's the breakdown...

Chalkboard Paint - $21.49 + tax
Frog Tape - $7.99 + tax
1/4" Underlayment - $9.99 + tax

For a total of $44 (and change... our receipt went for a walk) - under budget!

Chalkboard Calendar

Once home, it was time to decide how to handle taping off my calendar. I'd go into all of the math, but I don't really know how I could share my measurements without it sounding confusing. But, the basic idea was that I allowed for space to write the days of the week, have five rows of seven days and then a space for the month and a space for notes. Since the tape was an inch wide, I needed to lay it out on my cutting mat and use a straight edge ruler and my xacto knife to cut it down into more narrow strips that would work with all of my math...

Chalkboard Calendar

Rather than going the traditional route with the Month at the top, I ran the month along one side of the calendar, while leaving the opposite side open for writing important notes and reminders for myself. My final taped off board looked like this...

Chalkboard Calendar

The next step, was to prime everything. So, out came the basic latex primer and on it went using a mini foam roller that we already had at home...

Chalkboard Calendar

Chalkboard Calendar

It sat like this in our kitchen for two days (some things came up around here) and on Sunday morning B was kind of enough to get the first coat of paint on with a brush.

Chalkboard Calendar

Chalkboard Calendar

We then had to wait the recommended 4 hours to get the second coat on the board. At the time I had some girlfriends over visiting with me and Halle, so B was kind enough to finish paining it for me... and peeling the tape off once it was all dry. I was thrilled to later see the finished project...

Chalkboard Calendar

I know... it's not in my office and there is nothing written on it yet. The next step is to let the chalkboard paint cure for 3 days before we can write on it. That actually works quite well as it means I'll be able to start using it for the beginning of September!

I'm so happy with this project and the materials were definitely within a student's budget! Even if you didn't have $44 to spend on it, it would be easy to buy regular painter's tape for less (I decided to use Frog Tape in order to get cleaner lines). I'll be back on Thursday with the final board in my office all filled out and ready to run! 

Thanks again to the Home Depot for asking me to work with them - I had a lot of fun working on this project and I know it will be extremely useful to me when I'm back in my classes! 

Have you completed any back to school projects, or do you have any that you're finishing up now - either for you or your little one's? I'd love to hear how you stay organized when back to school season hits!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fancy Friday Love

These weeks are just flying by, and the proof is that our Munchkin is already 5 weeks tomorrow! Nutso! But baby news aside... here's some fancy finds from the past week...

Did you get a look, last Friday, at the first preview of Caitlin's new fabric line! I'm in love already and so excited to see a new fabric every Friday until the line launches in October!

Caitlin Wilson Fabric

A beautiful kitchen designed by Canadian Dee Dee Taylor Eustace, from House of Turquoise last Friday. Love the colour, the flooring, the details! One day our kitchen will be as beautiful (in another life possibly...)

via house of turquoise

A lovely post on Monday over at Verdigris Vie, showing this beautiful home on Martha's Vineyard. Loving all of it, but was particularly inspired by these rustic looking built-ins! 

via verdigris vie

I just can't get enough of beautiful kitchens - and this one, from a life's design, feels so light and airy even with the black cabinetry...

via a lifes design

I found a new food blog this week (thanks to pinterest)... and this is what sold me on starting to follow it...

oreo peanut butter dip

Oreo Peanut Butter Dip! Are you kidding me? No, I certainly don't NEED it... but man would I love to try it! YUM!

Doing some last minute summer entertaining this weekend or next? Look no further than Sugar and Charm for some beautiful table setting inspiration!

via Sugar and Charm

And just because...

via lavender and lilles

Let's not forget how lucky we are!

I'm very much looking forward to this weekend! Tomorrow B and I plan on taking the munchkin to the CNE (at least for a little bit). It's always been a tradition in my family to visit every summer (I only ever missed it when I lived away for University), and I'd like to make it a tradition for her as well! Sunday, a couple of my girlfriends are coming by for a visit and to check out our reno's - it's been a while since they've been at the house, so should be a nice visit! 

What fun things do you have planned for this weekend?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Online Shopping - Designer Picks

I was hoping to share a new project with you today, however, it's taking a little longer than planned (I guess most things do when you have a baby, huh?). So, you'll have to come back on Monday to see what I've been up to.

Today, instead, I want to share with you a new monthly sales event that is being introduced by HomeSav... TODAY! These monthly Designer Picks events will feature a selection of products and brands, that will be selected by a guest designer. 

Today's guest designer is Karl Lohnes, whose collection is focused on Autumn trends (fitting after my post from yesterday), and must-haves for 2011. I'm pretty excited by the colours he's picked - here's a sneak peek for you...


Adore this sofa and it's shape! Wish it was in our budget to purchase a beautiful new sofa...


Gorgeous sunny yellow! Would look beautiful on the charcoal couch... 


Beautiful, right? - So what are you waiting for? Head on over to HomeSav and start shopping... and of course sign up if you haven't yet! They always have great items on offer for 30 - 80% off retail - what's not too love?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Autumn Projects

Autumn is just around the corner... we're talking, less than a month away. This summer sure has flown by. B and I figure it has a lot to do with the fact that we spent most of the summer waiting anxiously for our little girl to arrive. In any case, Autumn is just about here and it's time to start getting ready for it!

The past couple of years, B and I haven't done too much in the way of Autumn decorating. Now that I'm playing stay at home Mommy to Halle, I hope to accomplish a bit more Autumn decorating this year and tackle some of the projects that I've put up on my Pinterest

Every year since we've moved in, I've been on the hunt for the perfect Autumn wreath... and I have yet to find or make it. I have vowed that this is the year! We need something to adorn our happy yellow door, and this is some inspiration I've come across...

Autumn Wreath

Would love to do something like this in oranges and reds! My only concern is... how well does felt stand up to the weather conditions that we get? Will a wreath like this hold up for a couple of months in the elements?

Autumn Wreath2

Along with creating a beautiful wreath, I'd love create a pretty garland to adorn our mantle. I had this little project saved to my pinterest, and thought I could do something similar and make some autumn leaves using paint chips...

Garland Inspiration

I've already started to stock up on red, orange and yellow paint chips from Home Depot!

And who doesn't want to bring a little of the outside in as well at this time of year!?

via pinterest

What a simple idea, with some branches and little tags! Spend October or November (depending on which Thanksgiving you celebrate), writing down what your thankful for! This is something maybe we can make a tradition with Halle. 

Speaking of tradition, these little pumpkin votive holders are always on our Thanksgiving table...

votive holder

We always pick up a bunch of tiny pumpkins at the pumpkin patch and just use a drill to make a hole big enough for the votive! Instant candle holder! Love it!

Though this project isn't really Autumn specific, it's another one I'd like to tackle in the coming season...

style at home via pinterest

It's a project I originally saw in Style at Home magazine, and knew it would be great in our front entrance! We could use a box for hanging keys, maybe mount some photos in another and switch our seasonal decor in others... depending on how many we make.

Yup - lots I'd like to do this season - we'll see if it all gets done on top of the other stuff we plan on tackling... you know, like our bathroom renovation. Have you been pinning any fun projects that you just haven't had the time to tackle yet?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One Month of Halle

It's hard to believe that it's already been one month since our little munchkin arrived. As I mentioned back when Halle first arrived, we're doing what we can to mark our little girls growth. So, without further ado, here is her 1 month photo...

August 23, 2011 - One Month Old

Baby girl is so long - she'll take after her Daddy! We have her 1 month appointment this afternoon and I'm interested to find out how much she really has grown in both length and weight! No footprints to share right now - she'll get those done when Daddy is home from work (and softball) later tonight.

If you missed it this morning, be sure to check out my post from earlier today - we have a brand new reno coming up soon and I'm sharing our first details!

Coming Down the Pipes...

Today our Halle girl is already one month old (where has time gone?), and thankfully she's still pretty tiny... tiny enough to bathe in the kitchen sink. However, we know that she won't stay this small for much longer, which means that plans for our upstairs bathroom renovation are well underway...

Upstairs Bath - July 2011

It's not a big space, and it doesn't have much storage, so we want to utilize the space the best we can, and on a rather tight budget, as I am currently down to half of my salary while on maternity leave. With that in mind, B and I have started to collect inspiration, talk finishes, pick up stuff here and there and of course, put together a budget. 

At this point, we have a rough idea of how we want the layout to work, after all, we are pretty limited with space. So, when the opportunity has come up to grab pieces for our renovation, we've been all over it!

The first item that we acquired, you may remember we won through a giveaway that Janice hosted way back in April. It was the beautiful Victorian Two Handle Widespread Faucet from Delta. It came in chrome, and B and I knew it would be perfect for our new bathroom.

Delta Faucet

Gorgeous, right? What makes it even better is that the wonderful people at Delta hooked us up and sent us the matching Victorian Monitor 14 Series Tub and Shower trim in chrome! We're so happy that we'll have these two beautiful coordinating pieces from Delta in our gorgeous new bathroom!


And that's not all that we've got so far! My cousin works at a transport company, and one of their customers had ordered a bunch of tubs for a hotel project they were working on. However, when they showed up it was not what they needed, so we were able to score a brand new American Standard tub for only $165!! 

As for the rest of the main fixtures, we plan on using the low flow toilet that we already have, since we purchased it when we moved into our home two years ago. The vanity will all be brand new! We plan on recruiting my father to build it for us, and I've been pinning lots and lots of inspiration pictures - we have some really great ideas (hopefully he can keep up with our "demands"). So there you have it - our next big reno... that we plan on undertaking with a baby who is only a few months old, B working full time, and me back in my classes one night a week (I start back September 14th). Are we crazy!? Yes! Do we love it!? Absolutely!

Do you have any major renovations planned for this fall... or any major renovations you wish you could tackle this fall? 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fabrics to Fall in Love With

I have some new project plans, as well as a brand new project to share with you later this week, but on this lazy Monday after a nice weekend with B and Halle, i just wanted to share some pretty picks with you...

Tonic Living has to be one of my favourite fabric stores! Not only is it Canadian, but the customer service is always great, shipments are fast, and their selection is fantastic and fun! Of course with our little peanut here, I haven't had much time to stalk their website recently. So, the other day when it was drizzly and overcast, I thought what better thing to do than look at some pretty fabric!?

Here are some of my favourite picks...

bunting scallop retro

Bunting Scallop Retro - $9.95 per yard

How cute is this bunting fabric? Would look so fabulous in a nursery, kids room or even a playroom! I'm actually already brainstorming a project that will allow me to add this to Halle's nursery!

gazebo cloud combo

Gazebo, Cloud - $21.95 per yard

This one is just so soft and beautiful. I love the light blues and greens in it... I actually think my garage sale chair from last spring might look gorgeous in this... we'll see. 

Pierre Confection

Pierre, Confection - $9.95 per yard

It's gorgeous and the price is fantastic. I'd love to see a nursery done with this fabric - that gorgeous pink and the hint of green! Perfection... and a bonus that it's such a steal of a price!

colette marseille

Colette, Marseille - $9.95 per yard

A beautiful floral with a fantastic combination of blue and pink... and some pretty little birdies! Again - a fantastic price!

remix bermuda via tonic living
Chevron Remix, Bermuda - $9.95 per yard

Another fun and colourful design! This would look so great in a kid or teens room - maybe even a fun project for the student who is off to university and needs to spruce up their dorm a little bit! I know we would've loved some fun window treatments back in our day! 

Finding any great fabric designs or sources around these days? Where is your favourite place to shop for fabric? 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just Because...

I may be a little tired as someone kept me up a little more than usual last night (but I guess it still wasn't as bad as it could've been). However, I must say I'm enjoying my morning. It's a gorgeous Saturday and the neighbourhood is so quiet - all I can hear are the birds in the yard.

I'm enjoying my (still hot) tea, and may even spoil myself with a second - as this little munchkin naps away next to me in her vibrating swing...

Early Smiles - August 19, 2011

My new favourite photo of her. She started smiling yesterday (just in time to absolutely win everyone over at the office). I tried snapping a picture on my Blackberry as we were leaving for our visit, but it was too slow and this was the end of a huge smile. Sadly... she hasn't shared any of her adorable gummy smiles with her Daddy yet. She was too tired yesterday and pretty much slept the rest of the afternoon... and evening.

Hard to believe that she's four weeks today... and yes, I kind of just wanted a reason to share another adorable photo of our little girl. 

Happy Saturday! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fancy Friday Love

Happy Friday friends! Halle and I have a big adventure ahead of us today! We're heading into my office for a lunch time BBQ and to show the little munchkin off. Hard to believe she'll be four weeks old tomorrow... time surely does fly by! So, while we prepare for our adventure, why not take a look at our fancy finds from the past week?...

Part of me squealed with excitement over the cuteness of this mini boden jacket when I saw it last Friday!... I would've considered buying it for Halle, but my girlfriend stopped by two Monday's ago and brought our little girl the cutest parka jacket from Joe Fresh! (Pictures to come in the fall of course!)

via mini boden

Kara's Party Ideas always shares the best party themes - I love checking them out. Last Friday she shared this adorable "tiny themed" first birthday party and it looks so cute! Something for me to store away for 11 months from now maybe?

ellas-first-birthday via karas party ideas

We're ever so slowly creeping towards September (sad but true), and September ALWAYS reminds me of New York City! It was where B and I first met back in 2007, and last fall I also dashed off on a short trip to NYC for the Nate Berkus show taping. Since I won't be making any trips to NYC this fall... I would happily settle for this Kate Spade Streets of New York Bon Shopper...

Streets of New York Bon Shopper

Some great wedding invites from lovely little details this week. The design, the wedding location, the celebrations... everything is absolute perfection! The save the dates are pretty awesome too... but you'll have to head over to the blog to check them out...

via lovely little details

On Tuesday, Michaela gave us a peak inside of this stunning Texas home that took my breath away! I'm sure you'll agree that you'd take this home in a heart beat...

Southern Living via Michaela Noelle

A short list, and not surprising as this week seemed to fly by. We have a family filled weekend ahead. Tomorrow B has a softball tournament, so Halle and I are going to go along to cheer him on. We love watching him play softball. Sunday I have a baby shower in my hometown, so B will be accompanying me and we'll spend some time with my parents, my brother and his fiance as well. So looking forward to all of this family time... and I'm hoping to finally get back into my parents pool if the weather permits! 

Enjoy your weekend... after all, there are not many summer weekends left (sorry, it had to be said). 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Switch is Done...

You may remember that back at the start of June, I had posted about how I wanted to make the switch in our kitchen and replace my Grandmother's old dining table, with a nice round table. At the time that I posted that, B had actually already picked up a round table that I had found on Craigslist, for $40, and stashed it away in our garage. So, last month while B's parents were visiting this was one of the project's that his wonderful father started working on for us. 

Seriously - B's Dad was so quick, I didn't even realize the man was getting around to sanding the table until he had already started - so there are no before pictures of this bad boy for you - but check out how beautiful it looked when he was was done sanding...

Kitchen Table - July 2011

Kitchen Table - July 2011

I've pretty much always known I wanted to go white with our kitchen table, so the same day that B went out to buy the stain for our coffee table, he picked up a white stain for the kitchen table as well...

Kitchen Table - July 2011

Since we wanted the table to be more white, and B didn't want to paint it, it took numerous coats to get the table looking exactly as we wanted it. So after many, many coats of stain and a bunch of coats of clear coat, the table was looking fabulous and in our kitchen (finally!).




The leaf is in, which of course doesn't give a true representation of how the round table fits into the space. It's also a hard area to photograph because we don't get much light with the big tree in our yard. 

Right now, we're both just happy to have a kitchen table again. Keep your eyes out... hopefully I'll be able to get some updated kitchen photos soon!
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